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Tourists are increasingly interested in the underwater safari
In recent years, underwater safari has become an increasingly popular form of tourism in Croatia where the attractive offshore and indented eastern Adriatic coast has a lot to offer. The Croatian coast has so far attracted mostly mainland tourists and sailors but in recent years diving activities have also risen.

Croatia is the fourth country in Europe by the number of underwater archaeological findings. According to the Ministry of Culture, in the Croatian Adriatic there are about 400 underwater archaeological sites, of which 200 come from prehistory to the new era, and the most recent from the time of the Second World War. The Ministry has protected 92 sites as cultural property, nine of which are under metal protection.

In Croatian waters diving can only be performed in an organized manner and not individually, and the Ministry has issued, for the period from 2009. to 2013., 25 concessions for conducting and organizing activities on underwater cultural resources, and for four underwater archeological zones around the islands of Mljet, Lastovo and Vis and in the area of Cavtat. In these zones, there are 35 sites, and 6 out of the zones.

Along the northern coast of the island Kaprij in the Šibenik aquatorium is an attractive well preserved wreck of an iron boat from World War II, "Francesca da Riminnija," which was torpeded and sunk while it was anchored in disguise, by the Union Army in 1944. It is a boat that is 42 meters long and 12 meters wide, with three well-preserved masts. The wreck was only discovered in 1994. The ship was owned before World War II by two brothers from the island Ist who used it for commercial purposes. At the beginning of the war it was mobilized by the Italians, who used it to transport military cargo between the Croatian and Italian coasts. After the capitulation of Italy, in September 1943. the Germans took it and used it for the same purpose.

Not far from the island Kaprij there are interesting caves and reefs that are also an attractive destination for lovers of the underwater world.  It is estimated that in the Croatian part of the Adriatic there are around 150,000 divers per year.  Certainly the most famous wreck in the Croatian Adriatic coast is the "Baron Gautch", an Austro-Hungarian ship from the First World War, sunk by a sea mine sunk in the waters in front of Rovinj in 1914. The ship was 84 meters long and 11 meters wide, and sunk at a depth of 28-40 meters. This wreck also is under the protection of the Ministry of Culture and can be visited only in the organization of a licensed diving center.

In the waters of Kvarner divers are also happy to visit the wreck of the Italian merchant ship "Lina" in the vicinity of Cres, a sunken cargo ship "Tihany" near the Island of Unije and the Greek freighter "Peltastis" that sank along the coast of Krk.  In Split's waters are even more interesting wrecks. Along the island of Mali Barjak there is a sunken cargo ship, "Teti" The ship is in an upright position and is a frequent motive for photography. The minelayer "Ursus", which had dragged the floating artillery pontoon, was hit by a British submarine in 1941. near Hvar. At an ideal depth along the coast of Pelješac, is the wreck of the German torpedo boat S-57, which is considered one of the most attractive shipwrecks for underwater safari. In Dubrovnik waters there are also numerous wrecks, and underwater walls and reefs.

The Ministry of Tourism
www.mint.hr
 
 

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